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Arthritis/Arthralgia

 

Arthralgia is joint pain, arthritis is joint inflammation.  Joint pain is the commonest symptom in SLE.

True swelling of the joints (arthritis) is only seen in about 40% of lupus sufferers, with the commonest joints involved being the fingers, wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, & shoulders. The spine & hips aren't usually involved in lupus, if hip pain does occur, it is more likely to be due to a condition called aseptic necrosis (death of tissue without infection).

Lupus arthritis doesn't affect the spine or neck. Lupus arthritis joint pain comes & goes, & there is often pain & stiffness in the morning. Arthritis in lupus doesn't cause destruction to the joint, as rheumatoid arthritis does. In people with lupus arthritis, x-rays are usually normal.

It is normally treated with NSAIDs, & antimalarials (Plaquenil). It is important to rest joints when inflamed & during flares.

 
 

 

 
 

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